I have to do a 500 page analysis (essay) and explain how the literary elements show 3 significant examples that help advance the meaning or experience of "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Expert Answers
amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the literary elements in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is foreshadowing. As the family is getting ready to leave, the grandmother is the first one in the car. She considers herself to be a lady, despite the selfish ways she tends to act. The narrator describes her elaborate outfit and uses this to illustrate the grandmother's pride and to foreshadow the grandmother's death: 

Her collar and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady. 

The family drives past a graveyard containing "five or six" graves: there are six of them in the car, the sixth being the baby.

After the accident, the Misfit's car is described in foreboding terms, "a big black battered hearselike automobile." The hearse is associated with death. 

When the Misfit gets out of the car, the grandmother senses that she knows him from somewhere; this also foreshadows their last conversation. At the end of the story, the grandmother either tries to connect with the Misfit or she has a real epiphany, perhaps realizing that everyone sins and therefore makes a real connection with God: 

Why, you're one of my babies. You're one of my own children!

Just before this realization, the Misfit told the grandmother that had he been around to see Jesus raise the dead, he would have turned out differently. He (Misfit) believes that he needed some kind of religious experience/convergence. Likewise, after he kills the grandmother, he notes that she needed a wake-up call as well.

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." 


Read the study guide:
A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question